Skip to comments.Zimbabwe Buys Heinz Cooking Oil Company
Posted on 09/03/2007 7:31:23 PM PDT by blam
Zimbabwe buys Heinz cooking oil company
By Byron Dziva in Harare
Last Updated: 2:04am BST 04/09/2007
The Zimbabwean government has bought the 51 per cent stake owned by HJ Heinz in the country's biggest cooking oil manufacturer, it announced.
The move is the first acquisition by the Harare authorities since a law targeting foreign companies and requiring all firms to be majority-owned by Zimbabweans.
The government-controlled Cotton Company of Zimbabwe paid £3.4 million for Heinz's stake in Olivine Industries, which has 1,200 employees. The government already owns the remaining 49 per cent.
Cooking oil is among those goods to have disappeared from shops after the imposition of price controls by President Robert Mugabe, who has threatened to nationalise firms that do not comply.
As well as suffering from inflation of more than 7,600 per cent and a continuing economic collapse, Zimbabwe has a shortage of foreign currency and would find it difficult to pay for firms acquired under the new rules.
In a statement Heinz said the sale was voluntary, describing it as "another step in the company's global strategy to drive profitable growth and innovation".
Heinz was one of the first foreign investors to enter Zimbabwe after independence but relations soured last year over claims that United States sanctions prevented it buying from formerly white-owned farms that had been seized by the authorities.
I wonder how much J-FinK will get?...........
Ya beat me by 56 seconds. :O)
Tell me this is satire. Please.
Do you think we get get Heinz to throw in John Effin’ Kerry with the deal?
No Blood for Cooking Oil!
Ummm .... 6.4 million in Zimbabwe money is like $1.95 in USD .... what a deal ....
Heinz produces a wide-range of processed foods, including branded food items for companies like Boston Market, Weight Watchers, and T.G.I. Friday’s. Based in Pittsburgh, the company employs 33,000 people. In fiscal 2007, Heinz reported sales of $9 billion. The Heinz Company also owns about 17% of Hain Celestial Group, manufacturer of Celestial Seasonings, Westbrae Natural, Arrowhead Mills, Westsoy, Walnut Acres and other natural food products.
Teresaaaaaa has an unlimited supply of her liquor soaked raisins to be sure.
Would you like a McFries with that order????
"Needs more ketchup!"
Hope Heinz didn’t take a check.
Payment expected in chickens and unicef wheat.
In order to finance the transaction Zimbabwe has created a new currency called the “light-Kronar”. This represents the number of Kronars you would have if you could print them out at the speed of light for a year. Recent inflation necessitated the change as there was no room for zeros left on the current currency.
By coincidence, I have an inlaw living in Johannesburg who works for Heinz. The last time I was down there he regaled me with all sorts of tales of “commerce” between the Saraha and South Africa, which is evidentially a rough and tumble world where individuals, groups, and governments exist in a lawless environment, bribes are common, and contracts mean next to nothing. Apparently the rule down there is that he needs to see the money first before any consignment is signed over, and every foreign company has a “local contact,” which is another name for the guy who handles graft and corruption so the company itself isn’t implicated.
Putting this in Zim terms tells me that Mugabe has gone the traditional route of all leftist thugs and nationalized an industry. Heinz no doubt has already prepared for this contingency. They’re no fools, and, like I said, every company has “local contacts.”
Why does my inlaw sell ketchup in hellholes like Kinshasa and Harare, anyway? His answer: Everyone has to eat.
Ah, good. So at least the cooking-oil industry will be in capable hands...
“Buys” in that headline, sounds an awful lot like “Confiscates”.
All your cooking oil are belong to us!
Getting what was coming to them.
I hope they bought Kerry as part of the bargain and take him off our hands.
Gee, Heinz doing business with Mugabe didn’t exactly make the news during Kerry’s 2004 bid...
Not that it necessarily relates to this, but China has been very interested in Africa recently for many reasons:
Heinz is putting a spin on the fact that drawing room liberal idealism has just bitten them in the arse.
"we've been looking to unload this sick puppy for years but no takers"
I am sure the sale of their Zim operations will be a huge boon for them. I doubt there was much left.
A little translation is in order here.
Heinz was one of the first foreign investors to take advantage of low acquisition prices induced by American sanctions against the Rhodesian government to enter Zimbabwe after independence but relations soured last year over claims that United States sanctions prevented it buying from formerly white-owned farms at a deep discount resulting from socialist policies it abetted that had been seized by the authorities.
Heinz has been hoping to be first to pick the bones of a once thriving ag producer killed by American leftists, typical of corporate socialists, who are more than happy to consolidate their holdings on the cheap after aiding and abetting a meltdown.
Zimbabwe, say goodbye to cooking oil.
It’s not satire, it’s just a damned misleading headline. He’s not buying Heinz, he’s buying FROM Heinz a state in a different country’s (ENGLAND) cooling oil company.
On re-reading, the story is even worse: Zimbabwe is buying ZIMBABWE’s cooking oil company from Heinz.
I'm not an industry expert but I don't believe you pump cooking oil from the ground. That means that even with the most enlightened socialist management you have to have something out of which to make it. Grown by...grown by...???
Heinz is being practical and realistic. I would have done the same. According to the story it's in pounds, not Zim dollars. Where the money came from is anyone's guess - but even if it's promises, that's better than nothing at all, which is what Heinz would get if they refused and Mugabe nationalized the plant.
Now we get to see if Mgabe is any better at making cooking oil than he is at farming. Any bets?
The sad thing is, there are people on this site who want all companies to be majority owned "by Amurcans!"